Some of her findings- such as the fact that postwar prosperity sidelined thrift as a hallowed American virtue- feel a little obvious But most chapters- including one on ethnic stereotypes of "cheap Jews and thrifty Chinese" and one on women and thrift in the 19th century- are unique in their scope and fascinating in what they reveal. Canny marketers know a good opportunity when they see one, she writes, and they understand that Americans these days aren't especially interested in sacrifice.\n Consumer spending is just one component of the GDP, Weber says; even if millions of Americans cut back their consumption, whether by choice or by circumstance, the economy will remain stable as long as government or business spending . . . rises to make up tile difference.